Fibroid Uterus

Uterine fibroids, also known as uterine leiomyomas or fibroids, are benign smooth muscle tumors of the uterus.

Most women have no symptoms while others may have painful or heavy periods.

Some women with uterine fibroids do not have symptoms. Abdominal pain, anemia and increased bleeding can indicate the presence of fibroids. There may also be pain during intercourse, depending on the location of the fibroid. During pregnancy, they may also be the cause of miscarriage, bleeding, premature labor, or interference with the position of the fetus.

  • Hormones - Estrogen and progesterone are the hormones that make the lining of your uterus thicken every month during your period.
  • Genetics - Researchers have found genetic differences between fibroids and normal cells in the uterus.
  • Avoid added salt
  • Limit high-sodium processed and packaged foods.
  • Check your blood pressure daily with a home monitor.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Lose weight, especially around the waist.
  • Avoid or limit alcohol.
  • Increase potassium by eating a majority of plants at each meal.

Some risk factors associated with the development of uterine fibroids are modifiable. Fibroids are more common in obese women. Fibroids are dependent on estrogen and progesterone to grow and therefore relevant only during the reproductive years.

How is it diagnosed?

While palpation used in a pelvic examination can typically identify the presence of larger fibroids, gynecologic ultrasonography (ultrasound) has evolved as the standard tool to evaluate the uterus for fibroids.

Sonography will depict the fibroids as focal masses with a heterogeneous texture, which usually cause shadowing of the ultrasound beam.

How is it treated?

Most fibroids do not require treatment unless they are causing symptoms. After menopause, fibroids shrink, and it is unusual for them to cause problems. Symptomatic uterine fibroids can be treated by:

  • Medication to control symptoms (i.e., symptomatic management)
  • Medication aimed at shrinking tumors
  • Ultrasound fibroid destruction
  • Myomectomy or radiofrequency ablation
  • Hysterectomy
  • Uterine artery embolization

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